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So there I was, clutching my mouse mat with anticipation of my bank’s direct message (DM).
Sure enough, it came through, requesting my contact number.
I replied that, since all prior phone conversations had failed, I’d rather communicate by email.
My bank agreed, so I sent my email address.
Minutes later, my phone rang.
It was my bank:
Hi, Paul it’s Con* here. I understand you’d like to talk about your home loans?
Hi, Con. Did you just get referred to me by your Twitter colleague?
Yes. Now, how can I help you?
Did your Twitter colleague not tell you I wanted to do this via email?
It’s my preference to do it by phone, Paul. Now, before we start: this call may be recorded for training purposes …
Con, I don’t want to do this by phone.
No worries, Paul; what’s a good time to call you back?
I got off the phone and DMed my bank. Having since deleted our DMs in frustration. it went something like this:
Nice. I ask politely to be emailed and I get another phone call!
I’m so sorry! I specifically requested them not to call you.
I appreciate your efforts, and I realise big systems can thwart good intentions. But I feel I’m flogging a dead horse here.
I’m still really keen to help you.
Thank you, but never mind. It’s futile. I’ve wasted enough time on this exercise.
In a fit of pique, I then un-followed my bank, making it impossible for them to DM me. I scanned the public Twitter domain (where we’d met) to see if they’d try a shout out, but they didn’t.
The next day, after writing Part 1 of this story, I realised my un-follow was churlish.
I was also possibly doing myself out of a (happy?) ending.
So I re-followed my bank. They were still following me, so my next DM got through (verbatim):
Me again. Now that I’ve written this up http://bit.ly/oJZEXh I realise I need to give you 1 more chance to help me via email …
… I’ll be writing Part 2 on Monday. How the story ends is up to you. Please, no more phone calls!
My bank DMed:
Hi Paul, I’ve escalated this & you’ll receive an email from our team tmrw as we’re still really keen to help
With my mouse mat now chewed to pulp, the email finally arrived:
I hope you are well.
Barry* from the Twitter team has asked if I can help you with your Home Loan enquiries.
Firstly, please allow me to apologise that a call was made to you despite your request for an email only. I assure you our intention was to provide you with a high level of service it was not to cause you any frustration.
To help me get the information you are after regarding interest rates can I ask that you explain what you are after in terms of your lending.
For example the Line of Credit is not actually a product offered by SomeBank* so we can not offer a comparison. However perhaps if we change it to variable rate loan we maybe able to offer something on the interest rate?
Just so you know I have already been in touch with your banker regarding your loans so we can see what we can do for you, he just wants a little background information so he can respond appropriately. Also we will communicate as much as possible via email however there maybe times where it is best to chat via the phone.
I look forward to your email and seeing what we can do for you.
Specialised Case Manager
I certainly felt like a specialised case. But would there be management? I emailed:
Many thanks for your email.
Thanks also for contacting my banker. (Who is he, by the way, and where?)
This is my current situation:
Yet I’m seeing rates as low as 6.69% from several institutions.
I consider myself a stable and reliable client. (Please correct me if I’m wrong!)
A glance at my accounts will show my financial situation is steadily improving.
I’d like to forge a long-term partnership with you guys so that when I’m black in the black, you can handle my investments.
I’d therefore like my two rates to reflect what the market is offering.
I’d also like a break on my annual and monthly fees.
Most of all, I’d like to achieve a positive result without any more faffing around.
I’d like you to say what you can do, rather than what (and why) you can’t.
If you can’t do anything for me, that’s cool. Just say, ‘SORRY PAUL, NO CAN DO!’ and I’ll move on.
I’ve invested so much time trying to communicate with you guys, I’m very, very close to the point where it’s just not worth the effort.
In trying to save less than $2000 per year, we’re really not talking sheep stations.
I could’ve (should’ve!) earned that much in the time I’ve invested in this process.
I’m trying to be reasonable, Sheryl; but if you disagree, we should probably just call it quits.
I don’t want to waste your time too.
Best regards, thanks again and good luck!
Thanks for a prompt reply.
I have included your banker Bert* into this email so you can both have some fruitful conversations about your loans.
Bert will be able to assist you and take a look at your profile and see what we can do.
Dont worry I will be here in the background to make sure you are taken care of.
Have a great weekend.
This was better. I felt like I’d made progress.
Maybe, just maybe, I would have a great weekend.
Then I heard from Bert.
<<<<<< INTERMISSION 2! >>>>>>
Egad! We’re still not done!
Will Bert save the day or sink the fleet?
Will professional passion trump passive aggression?
For the answers to these and other mind-snapping questions, don’t miss the (final?!) gripping episode of: A Fool & His Money, Part 3!
Meanwhile I warmly welcome your ideas, observations and stories.
* Not his/her/it/their real names.
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire
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